The Family Weekly Review

Doing a family weekly review has made a huge impact for our family.Taking time once a week to review the schedule for upcoming weeks and get clear on who is doing what, when and where has saved a lot of headaches and frustration. As parents, we go into the week much more prepared and aligned.

Establishing a context in which life partners (and children) can mutually debrief their past week … compare calendars, look ahead to the immediate future, and make decisions and plans together can be a phenomenal way to experience winning at the business of life.

— David Allen, Making It All Work

The concept comes from David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology. He specifically talks about the family weekly review in his book Making It All Work. We’ve taken inspiration from this book and made the family weekly review our own.

What Our Weekly Reviews Look Like
Each week my husband and I sit down for 30-60 minutes. We review our family calendars for the upcoming 3-4 weeks. We walk quickly through each day, ensuring that the calendars reflect everything we need to know to make the week go smoothly.

  • Who is dropping off and picking the boys up from school and daycare each day?
  • Who is transporting the boys to sports or other special events?
  • Are either of us traveling? Anything special that needs to be arranged?
  • Are there other blocks that should be added to the calendar to make sure we have time to prepare for an upcoming event? (Making food for a potluck, getting a gift for a birthday party.)
  • What needs to be on our to do list to get ready for each day? (Packing a swimsuit for swimming lessons, making sure we have cash for Sunday School offering.)
  • What are the details for an event we haven’t talked about, yet?

The Tools We Use
As a lover of all things digital, I am always looking for tools that will make this process easier. Here are the tools we’re currently using for our weekly review.

  • Google Calendars. Absolutely essential. Each member of our family has their own, color-coded personal calendar. We have another calendar for all-family activities. This makes it easy to scan and know who each appointment is for.
  • Calendars by Readdle for iPad and iPhone. I’ve tried LOTS of different calendar apps to find the one that would work best. Loving this one a lot. It pulls in all of our Google calendars and even allows me to see my Outlook calendar for work, too. In addition, the interface for adding new appointments is easy. It makes it possible for us to do our weekly review on the go, which is so important.
  • Omnifocus for iPad and IPhone. I am the only one in the family using this tool, but I love it. It is the most expensive app I have, but has been worth every penny for me. It allows me to capture the next actions to prepare for our week and to assign them to a specific day so I don’t attempt to keep all that info in my head.

Links to Check Out

And You?
What are the tips and tricks that help you keep your busy family organized? I’d love to hear them!

Comments (2)

    • Thanks, Martha. Love the chalk wall calendar idea. Would love to see a picture of what that looks like. It sounds like a great way for the kids to really be engaged in knowing what is going on each day, too. I thought the cozi app looked wonderful, but I wasn’t able to get it to pull in all of our Google calendars. I may need to give it another try.

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